Pub Rants

Submission Cycles

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STATUS: It was a quiet day. NYC socked by snow. I imagine most editors didn’t make it into the office and just worked from home. Perfect excuse for a reading day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? KANDI by One eskimO

You guys are going to hate today’s blog entry. After all, it’s hard enough to catch an agent’s attention in general so you definitely don’t want to hear that we have “modes” But hey, I try and share the unvarnished truth so here it is.

Agents read in cycles. There are periods of time where the workload is so overwhelming because of current client stuff, finding new talent is the last thing on our minds. We get behind in reading queries, sample pages, fulls because we aren’t reading incoming submissions on a regular basis.

Then the reverse can be true. When everything is running smoothly and 6 clients haven’t all delivered their fulls in a one week span of time (grin), then suddenly we are hot to find something new, something exciting, something that just reaffirms how much we love this job. So we’ll tackle the slush like it’s on fire.

Guess what mode we are in right now? Yep, now is a good time to submit.

31 Responses

  1. Nicole said:

    Hm. I don’t hate this post. From all the agent blogs I read, you tend to pick up on that sort of thing.

    I think a lot of us writers are like that too. You write so much for so long, at some point you want to throw your manuscript across the room and run screaming out of your house. Then you eventually come back and get to work again.

    Though I am sad that I’m stuck doing revisions when you’re itching for some new material. 🙂

  2. Christi Goddard said:

    Go me. I sent mine this morning.

    As for the weather back east(as I’m in the Central Time Zone), things seem to be running pretty slow all around as people fight to get to work… or do what you’re doing: curling up with a good manuscript.

  3. Shain Brown said:

    For argument sake, let’s say we submit a query letter. We being a male author and we politely get a nice thank you, but no thank you letter. Should we ever resubmit to said agent or is that project dead with said agent?


  4. Eva said:

    Snow days can be the best. The snow here melted and I am already missing it. I enjoyed this post. This is good to hear, especially since I just submitted.

  5. Jean-Luke said:

    This is actually more related to yesterday’s post but anyway I am a guy and I’m busy revising my YA novel. (for about the third time mind you) You are going to have one killer manuscript heading your way soon!

    P.S. It’s not a fantasy or thriller! 🙂

  6. Lindsey Edwards said:

    Oh, how exciting! I wish you the best of luck in finding that newbie author that brings a smile to your face and reminds you what you first found so alluring about the job!

    -Lindsey Edwards
    Witch Way To You
    “Lorelei and Hayden are thrust into an investigation of magic
    and intrigue, where nothing, not even each other, are what
    they seem.”

  7. Ben-M said:

    And, I’m guessing, five minutes later: the workload is so overwhelming. >:)

    Ah, now if only I had something worth writing a query for. One day, one day…

  8. Mechelle Fogelsong said:

    I submitted back in November, and 24 hrs after I hit SEND, you did a blog post about how you were swamped and recently did something you almost never do–a complete query dump. Ugh!

    So although it’s sort of taboo to resubmit the same query, I’m SO going to submit this time! Watch for my name, Ms. Nelson!

  9. Kristi said:

    It’s nice to see the snow elsewhere for a change. 🙂

    I signed up this week to pitch to Sara at a conference — but that’s not until April and chances are you won’t be as slow then. Now I’m working like mad to finish revisions – hence why I’m up at midnight!

  10. Kate Lacy said:

    So, Kristin,
    How can I interest you in a fast moving story about a boy who thwarts the intentions of small town stranger with kidnapping on his mind? Just knocking on the door! Kate Lacy

  11. Anonymous said:

    Yep, and that’s why we got to query widely and not wait around. Odds are better our query letters will land on the desk or in the inbox of the right agent at the right time.

    Still got a couple months until mine’s ready and you’ll probably be swamped by then, but you ain’t the only fish in the sea!

  12. Carolina Poet said:

    Good to know. I’m amazed that your blog is thriving on blogger. I tried blogger and had a difficult time gaining readers so I switched to wordpress and have done well.
    I’ll probably add you to my blogroll, because unlike some agents-your blog doesn’t seem rude. I really hate the word snark (popular with agents these days)–and all of its variations. Perhaps it offends my southern sensibilities?

  13. Anonymous said:

    Can you re-query an agent with the same project you’ve already approached him with before if you’ve revamped the book?

  14. Barbara's Spot on the Blog said:

    This cycle sounds very realistic. Almost everything runs with an ebb and flow. It must be very difficult to be “on” when you’re overwhelmed with other stuff. Also I think about how hard it would be to be open to something new when you have a lot going on. Right now I’m so tired of reading I just want to put my head down and sleep 🙂

  15. Natalie Aguirre said:

    Thanks for sharing the info. I’m almost ready to send mine, so hope I hit the good part of the cycle. And if not, I understand. I work too and sometime can’t get to non urgent things as quick as I’d like.

  16. ckleinschmit said:

    So close! I’m in my last revision pass before its ready to submit. It’s only a few more weeks of work, but who wants to take that risk if the submission list is really that light?

  17. Anonymous said:

    Anon, unless the agent invited you to resubmit after a revision, don’t waste your time. Better to hit up agents who haven’t already rejected the project.

  18. NipponBeck said:

    I certainly hope “now” lasts until tomorrow… I was going to leave my manuscript alone for the weekend and do one last read-through before I query you.

    God, this comment is so paranoid. First query jitters are in full swing!